A Threat-Based Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Approach

Author: Hector Palacio, Joalne Derick Manaois :


Cybersecurity incidents are commonplace nowadays, and Smalland Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are exceptionally vulnerable targets. The lack of cybersecurity resources available to SMEs implies that they are less capable of dealing with cyber-attacks. Motivation to improve cybersecurity is often low, as the prerequisite knowledge and awareness to drive motivation is generally absent at SMEs. A solution that aims to help SMEs manage their cybersecurity risks should therefore not only offer a correct assessment but should also motivate SME users. From Self-Determination Theory (SDT), we know that by promoting perceived autonomy, competence, and relatedness, people can be motivated to take action. In this paper, we explain how a threat-based cybersecurity risk assessment approach can help to address the needs outlined in SDT. We propose such an approach for SMEs and outline the data requirements that facilitate automation. We present a practical application covering various user interfaces, showing how our threat-based cybersecurity risk assessment approach turns SME data into prioritised, actionable recommendations.